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Caspian Prince pips Marsha in sparkling Sapphire duel

Caspian Prince denied Marsha in a thrilling finish to the Friarstown Stud Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.

Marsha was a red-hot 1-2 favourite to regain the winning thread after managing only third behind brilliant American sprinter Lady Aurelia when strongly fancied for the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.

Having tracked the front-running Caspian Prince (10-1), all appeared to be going to plan when Luke Morris eased Marsha to the front over a furlong out, but she could not go away and Caspian Prince showed tremendous battling qualities in the hands of Declan McDonogh to get back up by a short head.

McDonogh said: "He's a battler, he's tough. He goes a good gallop and keeps finding plenty.

"The mare came to me and he battled and didn't want to be denied.

"Once I gave him a couple of cracks he was game and genuine."

Winning owner Stephen Louch said: "It's always going to be close in a race like that. I didn't expect to come and beat Marsha today. She's a good horse and we knew we were in with a chance but to actually achieve it and get a Group race under his belt is brilliant.

"He is a star and it's fantastic. We picked him up in the sale at Deauville. From that day forward we have just fallen in love with him and won't let him go.

"We want to see him finish his career hopefully with a few more nice wins."

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